Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Silence is required.

Every child is a gift.
The loss: too much for words.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Open Studio Weekend

 I've been stitching, painting, and gluing into the night,
to be ready for your visit.
Find me this weekend in studio 512

Holiday Open Studios at Western Avenue
Saturday and Sunday,
December 8-9, noon-5pm.

This year I've been captured by Thoreau's words: "Live the life you've imagined."
 The result is a series of fabric paintings. The smallest, 4 inches square,
would look inspirational next to anyone's computer.
There are just of the largest pieces, 12 inches square.
Find two in the Loading Dock Gallery
and the other two in Studio 512.

Need gifts for teachers? A little something for your own? 
Bookmarks, and ornaments coming as well:
tiny, affordable art for every day.

Friday, November 30, 2012

From thermofax to collage

New work from hand-dyed, hand-printed fabrics. 
Some are vintage linen, others bits from projects past.

I collage these into new compositions, then mount them on 4x6 inch boards. 
They stand nicely, so you can put them on a wall, shelf 
or beside your computer.

Find them at the Winter Lights exhibit, Loading Dock Gallery, through December.
Or join me upstairs in studio 512, during Holiday Open Studios, this weekend.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Printing: Thermofax days

On my feet, printing for the hours. 
Sewing machine as drying rack

Every surface draped with drying fabric. 
Ideas percolating, time passing. Music playing. 

Waiting in the wings

Fabrics are intended for a series on 
following one's dreams, inspired by the 
Thoreau quote about marching 
to a different drummer.

New lace screen on hand-dyed fabric

Today I begin the work of cutting, blending, and rearranging.

Five layers. Four years. Finished.
Work and play, intertwined.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Advice & creativity

Still on  a short leash, and still subject to sudden, deep naps as my body mends, I have been handed time to sort through piles, rereading things, tossing much and filing a few. This, from a sleek insert to the Wall Street Journal of all things, bears mention:

Tom Sachs' list from the Wall Street Journal
Tom Sachs is a contemporary artist of sufficient success to have a shop and minions. My studio would drive him crazy, but his directives remind me to stay on the path. Among them (bold face, his words):

Work To Code. The creative mind by definition wants to wander off after new ideas. The hardest job for me often is to stay on task, to see something through, right down to that last, longest ten percent.

Sacred Space. The Studio isn't a coffee shop, it isn't a living room. It is a workspace. Show up, on time, stay there, see your job through.

Sent does not mean received. How can I still be learning this after so  many years working? Pick up the phone. Speak to the person. Follow up. Call again. It's amazing how many details fall between the chairs, through no one's fault. It's just entropy applied to ideas.

Always Be Knolling.  Don't you love a new word? KNOLL is the professional equivalent to "tidy," in particular meaning to put away what's not in use and straighten up what is. Amazing what you find (like free space and lost tools) when regularly applied.

I think I'll go put some more flotsam away.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

watercolors in autumn

My ability to think while sitting up slowly returns. 
I've  colonized our kitchen table, now called Command Central.

Flowers from friends and pumpkins bought for a class inspired me to bring out the watercolors. First: doodling on junk mail and flyers.

Who can resist the plumb eccentricity of pumpkins? 
 Mail art is a great idea. Remember the thrill of getting mail, real mail? 
I declare today Mail Art Day. Doodle on an envelope and put it in the mail to someone. With a note inside, of course.
 This letter's bound for my daughter at college.
Perhaps I am just sentimental about the post, being half-way through Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth just got the long long letter from Mr. Darcy. 

I can slowly walk the dog now, around the block in the afternoon sunshine. Picking up leaves is good exercise. They are little, perishable gems of color, and pose for me once home.
 I made fresh applesauce and actually cooked  dinner last night: amazing after eating like a mouse for  week. So things are looking up, for which I am profoundly grateful.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pinterest and pockets

One week gone now since I got back from the hospital. The body mends miraculously. The power naps are incredible: drop-of-the-hat, profound sleep, usually with NPR chatting away beside me.

 Fiber Bubbles by Alejandro Sales - Barcelona, Spain

The markers for recovery: stairs climbed, steps walked, words read, TV watched. The last decreases daily - thank goodness - as the mind and body begin to sit up and function, a little longer each time, each day. Last night, an entire episode of Parks and Recreation, complete with laughs. Things are looking up.

 photo by Cas Holmes, author, The Found Object in Textile Art

Meanwhile, the Pinterest is a gift, letting my imagination travel along paths already well marked by friends and fellow artists. The marvel of others people's work, a time-and-space-free museum to wander in.

Source: tumblr.com via Linda on Pinterest
   Encaustic by Graham McArthur

Each day has small goals. Yesterday I cleaned off my studio desk, and ironed. Today, it's clean out the bill bin, file my mom's paperwork, and at least hold something I want to work on.

Breast Pocket Project
 Meanwhile, have you got a minute? Please consider making pockets for flatties. A response by Melanie Testa to "Plastic Surgery Reconstruction Day" (yes, it exists).

Her goal is news coverage, to make honor women who step back into life without "enhancement" after mastectomy. She  hopes to collect 1000 during the week of October 22.

Comment on her post to get the address. I think I'll go make mine now, while I'm still awake. Make one to honor someone you know.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Double Open Studios In Lowell

A little bird told me.

Open studios this weekend in Lowell, Saturday and Sunday, 11-5.

Please join me at Western Avenue Studios, studio 512, 122 Western Avenue, Lowell.
I have a new batch of rayon scarves, and more that's still
in the works. Check back for details.

Sunday at 1 pm, I will demonstrate several ways to
transform fabric: painting, dip-dyeing, printing. 
Come watch, and  bring your art cloth questions.
Newest thermofax screen

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Teaching my Alzheimer's patients today, the topic swung to children. The patients may be uncertain where their kids are, what they are up to, but they remember them, and list them with pride. So I gave them my heart, which aches right now with the departure of my one child to college. "You get used to it," said Paul, after long thought. "They are so much smarter than you, anyway. That's the point."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Painting with Alzheimer's

I teach painting at a local assisted living center: one afternoon a week at the Skilled Nursing Care Facility and once every other week in the Alzheimer's unit. 
 The chance to work closely, for an hour, with these people enriches my days.
 Some have painted all their lives, others have never held a brush. But almost everyone, once started, falls into the mystery that is observation, response, and paint on paper.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Look Again

I've discovered that watercolors make the time pass differently when gallery sitting.
Paint is calling me back home.  I'm rusty, but that doesn't seem to matter.
 "In large measure, becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, 
which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, 
which makes your work distinctive." David Bayles / Ted Orland

Light and shadow
Thank you, Leslie Avon Miller

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sculptural Fiber in Lowell this month

If you're in Lowell this month (quilt festival this weekend, for example) don't miss

The Fabrication of Imagination 2012: 3-D Fiber Art
August 3, 2012 - August 25, 2012
 ALL Arts Gallery
117 Merrimack St.
Lowell, MA 01852
Harmony, July, 2012
"North Wind" by Cheryl Christner of New Boston, NH    
Lowell Quilt Festival Hours:
August 9, 10, 11, 10am-6pm

Gallery Night: Friday, August 10, 5 - 8 PM
Reception: Saturday, August 11, 1 - 3pm

Also August 17,18, 24, 25, noon to 7pm
The exhibition is made up of 3-dimensional works in or referencing fiber. Materials included yarn, porcelain, guitar strings, old sheets, found wood, reclaimed books, and felt. From what I've seen of the accepted work, it promises to be a wonderful, thought-provoking show,  filled with color, whimsy, and talent.

I'll be gallery-sitting tomorrow, Thursday, August 9, 10AM to 1PM and again on the show's last day, Saturday, August 25. Please stop in and say hello. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Live Art in Acton this Sunday

Ever wonder how those marble creations in the museum came to be? Come to Acton MA this Sunday, and watch   New England artists, Kevin Duffy, Jay Hungate, and Hungarian outstanding sculptor Nyari Zsolt  sculpting granite on the "New Art Archeology" pile at the Contemporary Arts International, Inc

Jay is my neighbor on the fifth floor at Western Avenue Studios. Talented, tall  and kind. I am excited to see what he creates.

Acton was my home years ago, when the quarry was just a big question mark, or maybe even in its last functioning days. Imagine an artist buying an abandoned building or site in your town, to house art and artists at work.

A reception will be held on August 5, 2012 1pm to 4pm to introduce the artists. If you can't make that, come to the closing reception, featuring work done during the symposium, August 19, 2012, 1- 4pm. Take a tour of the grounds and listen to the artists talk about their experience.

This summer, the CAI also  presents "Passions", a new show featuring Hungarian-born painter Steven Balogh. "Passions" will be on display from Sunday, August 5, 2012 through October 13, 2012. An opening reception will be held on August 5, 2012 from 1pm to 4pm, with an talk by the artist at 2pm.

So much art, in a quiet suburb.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Print with the Sun

Just when I vowed No New Supplies, here comes news of an app to move photographs from your phone to your fabric:

Ink-O-Dye is also available from Dharma Trading. Note the small blurb at the end, about the current limited palette. That's one of the things I love about Dharma: they're honest. They care about quality and their customers.

You'll find detailed information about the process here.  Tempted? I sure am.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Revisit, Renew

 I have been having a wonderful time, reworking gelatin prints made with Linda Germain.  She is a talented artist and generous teacher.

We gathered in her huge studio in Haverhill last winter: so much room, so many possibilities. I brought home scads of experimental work. Now at last the ideas have composted, and I'm ready to cut them down, cut them up, work back into them, with pen, paint, scissors, cloth.

I may need to take her August workshop (for my birthday!) to replenish my supply.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Journey of Small Steps

Rilke, fabric, tissue
 I have been working on cards each morning: 
A sort of meditation, fathomable even in the heat.

Layers and juxtapostion

Old work is being re-purposed. Bits of fabric, test prints, reproductions,
gelatin monoprints: anything is fair game.

Old and new art, repurposed
 At first I was tied to words, but as one morning leads into another,
 new patterns, other possibilities emerge.
 I am curious to see how the lessons extend into larger work.

Meanwhile, my cards will be for sale this weekend at the Stebbins Gallery,
 0 Church Street Harvard Square - our last days!
Come see us, noon to 5, Saturday and Sunday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Taking note(s)

 Back in high school, art class had one requirement: carry a sketchbook at all times. Great advice. Today I'm not fully dressed until a sketchbook is within reach.
 For years I traveled with just pencils, a sharpener, and an eraser. But now the portable tool kit has color too: watercolors, oil pastels, colored pencils.
 These are pages where I let my hand wander: a chance to ask"what if?" and work with what happens.
When it is cooler I will take my kit to Fresh Pond, and study real trees, real shadows. In the meantime, these are the echoes they leave in my mind.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer floats in

Suddenly the fabric behaves unpredictably. I rip, tear, twist and glue. Sticks brought home from the mornings walk  beg for assemblages. Three so far, here hanging high in the studio.  Two more on the walls, and who knows how many more hiding on my shelves.